Azure VM Backup

In the previous post we read about out of box Snapshot features now let's learn about Microsoft Azure Backup which is a managed services by Azure for Cloud Users. In traditional enterprise scenarios, organizations used to store their data in tapes to backup for long term retention. But, over the years that data has started to grow exponentially. Azure Backup is a robust and a simple solution and serves as a solution to the traditional enterprise tape backups.

In this blog we will be diving through a the process of creating a Recovery Services vault and backing up an Azure Virtual Machine (VM) using Azure Backup service and at the end you should have a general idea of how Azure Backup works.

A Recovery Services vault is an entity that stores all the backups and recovery points that have been created over time. The Recovery Services vault also contains the backup policy applied to the protected VMs.

Recovery Services vaults protect:

  • Azure Resource Manager-deployed VMs
  • Classic VMs
  • Standard storage VMs
  • Premium storage VMs

At a high level, here are the steps that we will complete.

  1. Create a Recovery Services vault for a VM.
  2. Use the Azure portal to select a Virtual Machine, set 3. Backup Policy.
  3. Run the initial backup.
  4. Restore the Azure Virtual Machine.

Steps to Backup Azure VM:

  1. Sign in to the Azure Portal using your Azure subscription.
  2. On the Hub menu, click Browse and in the list of resources, type Recovery Services and click Recovery Services vault.
    Select Recovery Services Vault
  3. On the Recovery Services vault menu, click Add.
    Azure Backup
    Recovery Servies Vault
  4. The Recovery Services vault blade opens, prompting you to provide a Name, Subscription, Resource group, and Location.
    Recovery Services Vault Creation
  5. Provide the details for creating the Recovery Services vault:
    • For Name, enter a friendly name to identify the vault.
    • Click Subscription to see the available list of subscriptions
    • Click Resource group to see the available list of Resource groups, or click New to create a new Resource group.
    • Click Location to select the geographic region for the vault.
    • Click Create. It can take a while for the Recovery Services vault to be created
  6. Now that you’ve created a vault, we need to Backup Azure Workload.
    Azure Backup Vault
  7. Navigate to the Recovery Services Resource and click on the created resource from above and Click on Backup at top blade.
  8. In the Backup Goal, select Azure for Where is your workload running? and Virtual machine for What do you want to backup?
    Azure Backup Goal
  9. Create a backup policy or select the Default Policy which is created by Azure which will back up the data on a Daily basis at 8:30AM and retains the backup taken every day for 30 days.
    VM Backup Policy
  10. Once the VMs you want to backup are selected, Click on Select and Click Enable Backup which will start configuring Backup to the Azure Virtual Machine.

    Note: If you want to take backup of VMs at West US then we have to create the Recovery Services vault at location West US too, only then the VMs be listed in the Select Virtual Machine blade.

    Select Azure VM Backup

  11. To view the Backup Items navigate to Recovery Services vault and you will find Backup Items below in Essentials dashboard or in Settings. Click to view the list of items which are being backed up by Azure. You have generally two types of backup:

    • Azure Virtual Machine – You will see that the Azure VMs which are selected for backup are listed. Azure Virtual Machine Backup
    • Files and Folder – You will see all the machines which has windows Backup client installed.
  12. You can also find Backup Jobs listed below the Recovery Services vault Essentials dashboard or in Settings, which will show all the Backup jobs which azure has performed and also the status of the job. We can find one job, Since in the previous steps we have configured Backup for a Virtual Machine.

  13. We can wait till the Policy time arrives or we can navigate to Backup-Items from step 11 above, select the respective VM and Click Backup Now .
    Backup Now

  14. Once you click on Backup Now button, Azure will try to perform below tasks:
    • Take Snapshot
    • Transfer data to vault (it should roughly take 30-35mins)

Restoring Azure Virtual Machine:

  1. For Restoring the Virtual Machine, Navigate to Backup Items by clicking onSettings -> Backup Items, click on the virtual machine and hit Restore at the top which will open up a Restore blade where we can select the restore point and navigate to restore configuration.
    Provide the below information:

    1. For Virtual Machine Name, enter a friendly name(which is the to-be restored virtual machine).
    2. Select Resource group from the available list of Resource groups.
    3. Click Virtual Network from the available list and select the respective VNet.
    4. Select the respective Subnet from the available Subnets.
    5. Click Storage.

      Note: To create an alternate configuration when restoring your VM (from the following menus), use PowerShell cmdlets.

    Selecting Restore points

Select Restore points
Azure VM Restore Select Restore Configuration

Once you are done with all settings click on Restore which will create a new Virtual Machine with similar configurations(New Resources will be created).


Azure backup is a simple and cost-effective solution that enables protection of data irregardless of the location of the data, whether it be an on-premise data center or a public cloud. Azure backup is integrated in the Recovery Service Vault providing seamless experience, making it not only cost efficient but also offering resilience and security

Raghuram Korukonda

Most of my time I spent working on Azure and contributing to Microsoft Azure and other Open Source Communities. I am passionate about Technology and helping people in embracing it to the fullest.

Hyderabad, India

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